Pamplona City Information


Central Zone: villages, castles and monasteries in NavarreHistory: Founded around 75 BC, the city known today as Pamplona served as a camp for the Roman general Pompey in the war against Sertorius. The similarity in names obviously accounts for the fact that Pompey is considered the founder of Pamplona, which he originally named Pompaelo. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Visigoths reigned in Pamplona between the 4th and 8th Centuries.

During the 8th Century the Moors and Franks irregularly controlled the city and at the end of the century Pamplona was unable to establish its rule over the Basque region due to the instability of being influenced by two states.

The 12th Century brought expansion and the addition of two new municipalities to Pamplona: San Cernin and San Nicolás. However, all of Pamplona's towns were in perpetual conflict amongst themselves, and this climaxed in the dramatic destruction of the municipality of Naverrería and the carnage of its population in 1276. Fifty years later, King Charles III united the towns into a single city.

After the acquisition of Navarre by Spain in 1512, Pamplona remained as the capital of the autonomous kingdom of Navarre. Throughout the 18th Century Pamplona’s services improved and the city was revamped. During the 19th Century this fortress-city played a strategic role in several wars in which Spain was involved. During the Napoleonic Wars, French troops occupied the city from 1808 to 1813.

During the 20th Century Pamplona led Navarre in industrialization and modernization. In 1936, under Franco, Pamplona and all of Navarre took the side of the Nationalists.

Monastery of La Oliva - Ribera (southern) area of Navarre Attractions: Pamplona is graced by plenty of attractions. The historic district lies at the northern end of the city, divided by the Rio Arga. The ruins of the old defensive wall can still be seen, most prominently in the northeastern part of the historic district. The Cathedral and the Museo Diocesano house many religious artworks.  The Ciudadela, a grand citadel with surrounding parks, is a beautiful place to take a stroll and relax.

The most famous attraction in Pamplona is the Sanfermies festival, known worldwide for its running of the bulls (encierro). With origins in medieval times, the festival is celebrated July 6–14. Thousands of Spaniards and foreigners from across the globe participate every year in the encierro, bravely racing ahead of wild bulls in an 800-meter run.

Students going out in PamplonaGoing Out: Pamplona has a large student population and consequently a very fun and lively nightlife. The French-influenced café’s on Plaza del Castillo are a nice place to hang out day and night. If dancing is what you want, take a taxi west of the center of the city toward the University zone. Pamplona's restaurants cater to most tastes, as well as specializing in the region’s delicious traditional cuisine.